"In the Shadows"; An Exhibition by Fereidoun Ghafari 

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"In the Shadows"; An Exhibition by Fereidoun Ghafari 

Author : Niloofar Nedaei

Reading Time : 3 Minutes

"In the Shadows" is the title of Fereidoun Ghafari's solo exhibition curated by Phong Bui and hosted by CUE Art Foundation from June 9 to July 9, 2022. The show includes the artist's self-portraits rendered by rough textures of oil paint on canvas. In these paintings, a range of the artist's body organs is depicted in views close to the body and in real size.  

Fereidoun Ghafari | Self Portrait | 2022 | oil color on canvas | 162.5 × 91 cm

A small part of Ghafari's self-portraits, which is an ongoing series started since 2016, are presented in this show. He has tried to render his naked organs devoid of any element or sign that could link them to any specific time or place. Therefore, he avoids politicization of his works, because he believes painting is "a process of exploring inner self" and is a search for intimacy with the self. This is the only way through which universal human comes into existence. In a continuous process, Ghafari uses painting as a tool to identify fundamental elements of humanity. As a result of the efforts he made over the years, "In the Shadows", his first solo show in New York, is hosted by CUE Art Foundation.  


Phong Bui, the curator of the show, who has followed Ghafari's works for four years, selected his paintings according to a perception based on self-portraits created by artists through the art history. As well as paintings by Jan van Eyck, Rembrandt, Picasso or Frida Kahlo, Ghafari's self-portraits proceed in a process of change that takes place gradually for any individual. He says that Fereidoun Ghafari's works: 

"predicated upon a necessity to engage in a mediation upon life's experiences in totality, or to confront the deeper aspects of [oneself] from within." 


About Fereidoun Ghafari 

Fereidoun Ghafari was born in Tehran and is living in Brooklyn, New York. In 1998, He graduated with BFA in painting from the University of Art in Tehran, where he earned his MFA in 2002. One year later, he was accepted as guest student in Konstfack, University College of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm, Sweden. He then returned to Iran and worked as a teacher at different universities in Tehran until 2006, when he applied to the New York Academy of Art and earned his second MFA in 2008. Ghafari has arranged one solo exhibition of his self-portraits at Azad Art Gallery and has attended many international shows and events. He won the first prize at the 5th Biennale of Contemporary Iranian Painting.  


About CUA Art Foundation 

CUE Art Foundation is a center for visual arts which attempts to provide artists of all ages with education and essential occupation opportunities. CUE Foundation arranges art courses and general programs so as to present meaningful and everlasting experiences and resources to artists and viewers. The foundation was established by a group of experts and visual artists in 2003 and has tried to act as a stage for displaying various artworks throughout the U.S ever since.  




  • www.cueartfoundation.org/fereidoun-ghaffari-in-the-shadows 

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  • www.cueartfoundation.org